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'The Barber of Seville' hits Middlebury (with slideshow)

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MIDDLEBURY — When “The Barber of Seville” opens on Friday, June 5, it will confirm Middlebury’s status as one of the smallest towns in the country with a professional opera company. The production marks the Opera Company of Middlebury’s sixth year of producing grand opera in the intimate confines of Town Hall Theater.

The company’s first production in 2004, “Carmen,” was done with only four singers, three musicians and a budget of less than $4,000. The current production involves over 75 people, including a 13-piece orchestra, and costs nearly $50,000. It is one of the most elaborate shows put on by the Town Hall Theater to date.

“What’s fascinating to me,” says artistic director Douglas Anderson, “is that even in a recession the company continues to grow and flourish.” 

Ticket sales and donations remain high. Anderson is especially proud of the in-kind support that comes from every part of the community. “If we need a fancy antique prop, or somewhere to house our singers, or even a doctor at short notice to take care of a singer’s allergies, the community is always right there to help.”

Passion for opera runs high in Vermont. “It’s easy to see why,” says Anderson. “Opera takes every other art form and rolls them into a single glorious event.” 

“The Barber of Seville” can be seen on June 5, 7, 9 and 11. For tickets: go to www.townhalltheater.org, or call 802-382-9222.

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